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Jul 23, 2007 04:31 PM

Mom and Pop Seafood Shack Tour

My boyfriend and I recently did a tour of area mom and pop ice cream stands and enjoyed the day so much that we are hoping to do the same with seafood (typical New England stuff - fried clams, lobster rolls etc.). We already have The Clam Box on our list but are stuck looking for another two or three. Any suggestions? We are willing to drive out of Boston as far as Ipswich to the North and Quincy to the South (we are starting from my place in the North End) but any place that is locally owned, is more of a stand than a restaurant, and is worth going would make our list.

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  1. Assuming that you are talking about the Clam Box in Ipswich, travel down to Essex, the next town on Route 133 and stop at Farnham's then Essex Seafood. Both are what you are looking for.

    15 Replies
    1. re: chuck s

      And the Clam Box in Quincy along with Tony's both on Wollaston Beach are pretty good. I suppose you'd have to add Kelly's on Revere Beach into the mix.

      1. re: Joanie

        I was wondering if Kelly's is not mom and pop enough for you since its now a chain. But the food is still excellent...especially the lobster roll and if you are coming from the North End up the North Shore its right on your way.

        Being from Swampscott I originally I'm partial to The Barnacle in Marblehead. It gets mixed reviews on this site (I think because there is such little seating outside) but the food is quite good.

        1. re: Elyssa

          I was going to mention the Barnacle too, but it's more of a restaurant than a seafood shack/stand, which the OP was more interested in. Definitely worth going to on a warm summer night, though, especially for the views!

            1. re: chrisinroch

              It's at 141 Front Street in the old section of Marblehead, within sight of Fort Sewall. I'm on an old computer right now, so I can't get the "link to a place" to work here, but maybe someone else can help out so you can see where it is on a map.

              1. re: chrisinroch

                Here it is but I wouldn't bother schlepping all the way to Marblehead for this mediocrity.

                The Barnacle
                141 Front St, Marblehead, MA 01945

                1. re: Harp00n

                  I consider the Barnacle another place where the view far outweighs the food. That said, it's a great spot for a bowl of chowder and a beer...not a "seafood shack"

                  In the "shack category," Lime Rickey's (now run by Red Rock Bistro people ) fka Flynnie's on the Beach isn't bad. great spot on Devereaux Beach. I had a seafood combo plate. Clams were ok but the fried haddock was really very good.

                  Better fried clams at Maddie's..and Ms 9's baked haddock was very good. Not really known for it's food, gotta love a place that gets shut down from time to time for "overserving" their customers..:)

                  I wouldn't shlep up to Marblehead for any of the food that I've found so far; but it is a pretty New England town with a great history..and Old Town is very pretty.

                  Here's a good spot to pick up some local lobsters..


                  1. re: 9lives

                    in yesterday's Salem News Maddie's got handed another 5day suspension for over-serving. it even mentioned that one of their bartenders was found drunk, asleep in some neighbor's flowerbed.

                    call ahead.

                    1. re: ScubaSteve

                      I can recall a few wild and crazy happenings at Maddie's Sail Loft over the years (like a former co-worker of mine who fell down the outdoor sprial staircase from the top floor, landing in the middle of the street, yet somehow completely unhurt--yes, alcohol was involved). In retrospect, though, a lot of it was just kinda pathetic.

                      Flowerbed, huh? I guess the legend of Maddie's continues....

                        1. re: 9lives

                          Great pics 9lives. I'm originally from Swampscott so I loved seeing these.

                          Out of curiosity, in your pics...where is that wonderful looking hash breakfast from?

                          1. re: Elyssa

                            The hash was from the Driftwood Restaurant..great breakfast and lunch place near the town pier..across from the Landing..caution..long lines on the weekends.

                        2. re: ScubaSteve

                          actually it was a patron... (i live in town)
                          that bar will never change.,.. but the clams at the three cod on pleasant street in marblehead are good

                          1. re: ScubaSteve

                            Does this surprise you at all lol??

                    2. re: Elyssa

                      Actually, the reason I have given the Barnacle "mixed reviews" is the few times I have been there, food has been mediocre. Once I ate inside in the dining area, right by the windows overlooking the ocean. Great view except for the dead flies all lining the windowsill. Not exactly appetizing. I think the best bet here is drinks at the bar, maybe a cup of chowder or an app...or even better, a table outside. No question this place has the perfect location....if they only had the food to match.

                2. If you're willing to go a little further south from Quincy, the Hingham Lobster Pound is an excellent option. It's about 10-15 minutes south of Quincy on route 3A.

                  1. You might want to try Belle Isle Seafood, on route 145 just over the town line in Winthrop. (It's a 10 minute detour off 1A north.) The lobster roll is fabulous, and I am a big fan of the onion rings and lobster pie. Clams are tasty as well. Check out this recent post:

                    1. I was thinking about the Clam Box in Ipswich but the one in Quincy might worth checking out. Thanks for the great ideas. Our next food tour is shaping up to be a fun day!

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: akma

                        Today would be a great day to hit the Clam Box in Quincy. Wally Beach isn't such a bad place to go anymore--it has been cleaned up for the most part, and the views are great along the entire stretch.

                        1. re: hiddenboston

                          Pat and Arthur's in Marshfield ...worth a trip to the South Shore....try the clam roll....mmmmm...most delicious clams I ever had.

                          If you really want to make an adventure of it............try Sayles on I remember it's more of a takeout place.......but ohhhhhhhh the quality and freshness is amazing!

                          1. re: hiddenboston

                            If you are going to go to Wollaston, I would hit Tony's over the Clam Box..just more consisent/less greasy in my experience.

                          2. re: akma

                            Personally, I much prefer Tony's over the Clam Box. Their clam fritters are tastier, less greasy, and the fried clam platter seems to be a bit better as well.

                            But, the Clam Box has it's supporters I guess I'm saying you should try both :)

                            1. re: mwk

                              I like Tony's better too, but on a day like this, you can't go wrong with either (or both!).

                              1. re: mwk

                                Flip a coin. Tony's is fine, the Quincy Clam Box is fine.

                            2. Tony's is better than the Original Clam Box by far, I believe. However, by all accounts, the Ipswich Clam Box blows Tony's away. The problem with all these places is that they're only open for part of the year. Also, I loved the fried clams at the Hingham Lobster Pound.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Guinness02122

                                If you've got a mid-winter Jones you can always go to Woodman's, or better still, The Village Restaurant in Essex. It's not a clam shack but belly full of full belly clams doesn't care.